Quillen Homecoming

War Dog Tippy in a bunker on iwo Jima guarding Ernest Childs and Dale Quillen on the night of March 26, 1945

Iwo Jima, March 26, 1945, (L-R) Ernest Childs, War Dog Tippy, Dale Quillen

With the passing of my father Dale Quillen, I thought I would edit and re-post this story.

On Armistice Day, November 11, 1945, Dale Quillen sailed into San Diego Harbor.

Three months earlier his Division, the men of the Third Marine Division, had been staging for an invasion of mainland Japan — and for their probable death.  Then a bomb dropped on Hiroshima.  Three days later a bomb dropped on Nagasaki.  Then there was peace in the Pacific.

For my father there would be long ride in a Pullman car from Pendleton to Lejeune with no money to tip the porters.  My father mustered out from Lejeune on December 12, 1945 and by rail and bus made his way through a snowstorm to Greeneville, Tennessee.

It was after dark on December 13 when another bus delivered my father to a little white frame house in the hamlet of Baileyton, Tennessee.  Under the porchlight, white-haired Milligan Quillen, my father’s Father, waited.